I am 53, and the proud mother of 3 children, who were planned and born when I was ready to become a parent. At 17 in my senior year of high school, and after I found out I was accepted to a college, I became pregnant.

The 18 year old boy who I was dating, introduced me to a family friend who brought me to an abortion clinic and I had the abortion. My mother never knew. I graduated high school, and a week before starting college I had a second abortion after another accidental pregnancy over the summer. I was so naive about birth control, and never had any education regarding options. I was into healthy living and I believed that birth control pills were toxic and synthetic. I finally received reproductive health care at the college health services, and obtained a diaphram. It didn’t work 100% and I became pregnant again, this time by a lover who was an alcoholic, but I really wanted things to work. The problem came when I announced my pregnancy to my mother, as she was planning my older sisters wedding and I was to be the bridesmaid. There was no way the family would tolerate a pregnant bridesmaid at the wedding. This time, my mother convinced me to terminate. She hadn’t known about my previous abortions. She even accompanied me to a clinic. My life went on, I graduated college, got a decent job, dated a few nice guys, but enjoyed my independence. I eventually went to graduate school, and in my final year, became pregnant by the man I would later marry and have children with. Unfortunately at that time, we just didn’t feel ready. I can’t explain it other than I just knew it wasn’t the right time. I sunk into a depression over making another decision to terminate. This time my mother did know, and commented that I couldn’t just use abortion as a form of birth control. That comment has stuck with me for ever. I have always felt ashamed and embarrassed about my multiple abortions, and have never really been honest with anyone but a close dear friend. Even my husband never knew the history. I reflect back, and wonder if my mother had ever terminated a pregnancy. I will never know, as she died 10 years ago. I do know that I teach my own children about healthy sexuality, healthy reproductive health, and birth control! We have open conversations about these topics, although I have not revealed my abortion history, yet. My now 18 year old daughter, said recently, as she is preparing to go off to college that if she ever got pregnant unexpectedly she would have an abortion, until she felt ready to become a parent. She knows some young adults, her age, who are having babies and she recognizes how much of a challenge that will be for them. I have always emphasized to her how important a job parenting is, and how all consuming it is for a parent, that you have to be ready to allow a child to be completely dependent on you, for many years! I believe young adults should experience some independence in their own lives before becoming a parent. I have never regretted my decisions to abort unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, but I have sadly regretted that I was faced with the decision too many times.